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May 26, 2024

Major Streaming Services Opt Out of Launch Apps for Apple’s Vision Pro

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Jan 19, 2024

Apple’s highly anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset is set to launch on February 2nd, 2023, with a premium $3499 price tag. However, in a surprise move, several major streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify have announced that they will not offer native apps for Vision Pro at launch.

Netflix Leads the Charge in Opting Out

Last week, Netflix dealt the first blow by confirming that it has no plans to develop a dedicated app for Vision Pro. Instead, Netflix is advising Vision Pro users to access its streaming content library via the Safari web browser.

This is a bold stance for the streaming giant to take considering Vision Pro’s promise as an “ultimate entertainment device” according to Apple. Market analysts predicted that streaming video would be one of the headset’s major selling points.

Netflix did not explain its rationale, but speculation centers around Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions, which Netflix may be unwilling to share.

YouTube and Spotify Also Opt Out

Following Netflix’s revelation, both YouTube and Spotify soon announced that they would not offer native Vision Pro apps either.

YouTube is especially notable given its massive repository of VR content. Offering a polished app that surfaces this content seemed like an obvious win for the video platform.

But sources say that negotiations between Apple and YouTube broke down over disagreements about ad tracking restrictions and revenue sharing.

As for Spotify, the company said it wants to wait and see how the Vision Pro platform evolves before committing resources to build an app.

Initial Vision Pro App Lineup Looks Weak

With three huge streaming apps missing from its roster, the initial app offering for Vision Pro is looking quite weak.

Early surveys of popular apps expected at launch paint a concerning picture. Mostly niche titles rather than big names populate the list.

Category Expected Launch Apps
Social Media None
Streaming Video None of the major services
Streaming Music Only Apple Music expected
Gaming Some ports of popular mobile games
Tools Calendar, Safari, App Store
Content Creation Unknown

This lineup pales in comparison to what most consumers and tech reviewers were envisioning for Apple’s debut in the AR/VR space.

Without best-in-class entertainment experiences readily available, Apple risks Vision Pro being seen as an overpriced tech demo rather than the revolutionary device it set out to create.

What Happens Next?

All hope is not lost for Vision Pro eventually getting strong streaming app support. Services like Netflix and YouTube may still develop dedicated apps once Vision Pro’s install base grows to critical mass.

But their absence early on could significantly dampen demand for Apple’s headset. Pre-order sales data shows that many consumers are taking a wait-and-see approach until their must-have apps become available.

Competitors like Meta and Sony may also capitalize on Vision Pro’s shaky app ecosystem to make the case that their own developing AR/VR platforms are more attractive to developers and users.

For its part, Apple says it remains committed to delivering amazing native app experiences on Vision Pro over time.

But if major services continue holding out support, Apple’s VR dreams risk being stuck looking through the limited window that is the Safari browser rather than the fully immersive apps needed to drive mass adoption.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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